Taking over Canada for the past month, Canadian rockers Three Days Grace rolled into Toronto, ON. on Sunday, 27 November, for the final date of their Explosions Tour, which was nothing short of amazing. Fans adorning Three Days Grace shirts excitedly lined up outside History, the blue marquee lighting up the area.
Three Days Grace – The Warning – The Standstills
History, Toronto, ON, Canada – 27 November 2022
Words and Photography: Taylor Cameron
Three Days Grace
Flames in the shape of hearts covered the screens as drummer Neil Sanderson took the stage, the crowd cheering loudly. His arms were raised high in the air as he took in the praise before settling behind the drum kit and kicking into the opening track, So Called Life, as the rest of the band took the stage.
Although this was the final night of the tour, the band’s energy did not waver for a second. Matt Walst held the crowd in the palm of his hand as he took command of the stage. The musicianship within Three Days Grace is stronger than steel, and tonight, every note played sounded like pure rock ‘n’ roll magic.
The setlist contained an array of Three Days Grace classics such as Animal I Have Become, Pain and Just Like You, as well newer tracks, including I Am The Weapon, from their 2022 release Explosions.
“When I say go, I want to see this fucking pit go,” Matt Walst growled into the microphone as the band ripped into the fan favourite, Painkiller. The crowd sang loudly along with the band, as fans crowd surfed and moshed within the pit, adding to the intense atmosphere. Halfway through the track Daniela Villarreal of The Warning was welcomed to the stage once again, sharing lead vocals with Matt Walst. Headbanging with her horns raised high in the air, Daniela was the perfect addition to the song.
Closing out with the Brad Walst bass-driven track, I Hate Everything About You, and the audience cheered for more as the band left the stage. ‘Three Days Grace,’ the crowd loudly chanted, encouraging the rockers to play more.
Barry Stock then emerged from the darkness, playing a melodic guitar riff as the rest of the band took the stage. “This next one is about never giving up,” announced Matt. “Get your lighters up. Let’s light this place up,” he told the crowd as the band kicked into the ballad Never Too Late.
The dark venue lit up like stars with lighters and cellphone lights as everyone sang along to the heart-touching track. Shifting gears, Three Days Grace ended the night with the heavy track, Riot. “This is your last fucking chance Toronto. Let’s have a riot,” Matt screamed as the band forcefully played the track from their latest album, the crowd going ballistic.
As the night ended, the band took centre stage for one last bow as the audience cheered and clapped for the top-notch performance the band had just put on. The energy in the room was at an all-time high, ending the Explosions tour on the perfect note.
The three Mexican sisters, The Warning, kicked off their set with the hard rocker Z, and lead singer and guitarist Daniela Villarreal’s melodic but growling vocals had the audience’s attention within seconds. The three sisters that make up The Warning have been kicking ass all year, solidifying that rock ‘n’ roll is truly in good hands.
Keeping things heavy, they move straight into Queen Of The Murder Scene, the title track from their 2018 album. A thumping drumbeat, played by Paulina Villarreal, a ripping guitar solo and a heavy bassline from Alejandra Villarreal carried this track and Daniela’s unique vocals are the cherry on top.
These young musicians know how to rock, and it did not take long for the audience to realize it. Introducing their latest single, Choke, Daniela said that it is a very special song for the band. However, having a special guest with them for the night made it even more special. Welcoming Three Days Grace guitarist Barry Stock to the stage, Daniela shed her guitar for this one, letting Stock take the reins.
The rest of the setlist contained fan favourites such as Money, Disciple and Error from their 2022 album Error, as well as a roaring cover of Metallica’s Enter Sandman that had everyone singing along.
From Paulina’s expressive drum playing and Alejandra’s basslines that you feel in your soul to Daniela’s eclectic stage presence, The Warning put on a show that will be hard to forget and one that will have people talking for years to come.
Opening the night were Ontario’s own, The Standstills. Hailing from the Greater Toronto Area, many of the band’s friends and family scattered the crowd, giving the band the warm homecoming they deserved.
Energetically parading the stage, lead singer and guitarist Jonny Fox pumped up the crowd with a captivating charisma that had the audience rocking out along with the band. Bassist Brendan McMillan and Drummer Renee Couture filled the sound, a rhythm section of pure perfection.
Although their set only lasted thirty minutes, they rocked the roof off the venue. Captivating from the moment they stepped onstage, the crowd roared in acceptance. Horns raised high in the air, The Standstills kicked off the night with a bang.